I read an article this week by Mark Liston. He's a recruiter and he is also a generational traitor and a pathetic social masochist.


Here's the essence of what he says:  I'm a baby-boomer and we're awful. Why? Because we're workaholics. We love blackberries. We can’t text message. And we have old Beatles records in the garage.


We have old Beatle records? Is that a sin now? No, but he treats it like one just so he can suck up to Gen Y.


He goes on to say: You guys are better than us. We had race riots. We went on peace marches. We went to Woodstock. We ducked bullets at Kent State.


Does anyone really think that Mark Liston ducked bullets at Kent State? Or that he was involved in a race riot? Of course not.


Mark is just an ordinary guy -- and so is his audience. In fact, there's probably less difference between Baby Boomers like Mark Liston and Gen Y than between any two generations in the last 100 years.


The proof is in the pudding because for the rest of his article Mark gives advice to Gen Y and none of it has anything to do with generational differences at all. Here's a sample of what he says:


  • The most useful class I took in school was typing.

  • No one asked to see my report cards at any job I ever had.

  • Don’t worry about knowing what you want to do 20 years from now.

           All of us who thought we knew changed our minds

  • Don't worry about working with people older than you. It's no big deal


It's not bad advice but I was in a rage for three days after I read thisarticle because of the oily, contemptible, cowardly way in which Mark rushes to appease the barbarians.


Then I started to think: Hey, this is actually a fantastic article because it's so stupid that it undercuts its own lies. First the guy says, "I'm dumber than you" and then he says "So, why don't you take my advice?".


Then I realized something else. My friend, The Funny Banker, tells me that when you come right down to it, selling is lying. Mark is a salesman and, apparently, he knows that if you flatter people you can feed them any kind of baloney you want.


In the comment section underneath this article, the Gen Whiners lap this stuff up. "There's a sucker born every minute," said P.T. Barnum and Generation Y is proving him right.


Audio version


Reference: Back to the Future — A Recruiter’s Thoughts

Mark Liston has many more articles of the same calibre. His blog is here

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Ah, capitalism. Smells like Bankers Club Gin. Tastes like the tears of babies.
Touche. I'm old enough to know when to just say "thank you". In my role I don't have a quota - just trying to convince a bunch of baby boomers who are looking for talent (at entry level pay) that they might have to look to the next generation instead of recylcling sales people who, after 20 years, still can't sell.

And yes, those frequent flyer miles are nice, but I'm not sure they are worth the seat I had yesterday in the back row of the airplane, next to the toilet, that didn't recline (although the one in front of me did!)

Sandra McCartt said:
Thanks for the compliment on the pic Mark. As i predate the baby boomers i've already been through the stage of rah, rah you are going through now. Take heart, it will get better as you get older, we get over the need to lie to a bunch of goofy kids about the good old days to try to get them to do something so we can meet our quota. I much prefer being the Grande Dame of recruiting to my days on the speaking circuit, your arse can have it. I got real sick of all that gray roast beef, canned green beans and Holiday Inn's not to mention being stuck in an airport at least once a week. One of the joys of professional TPR recruiting is that it's inside and we get to sit down. But i bet you have more "frequent flyer" miles than i do.

If typing was the most important class you ever took i worry about you son.
You are all over it and understand. Fortunately doing this is only part of what I do and our franchisees really make the decisions. All we can do is help.

Best thing about sitting way in back by head is that it is easier to sneak those little bottles of rum and vodka in your briefcase then sneak back and grab another diet coke when no one is looking. Whatever it takes right?

Thanks for the encouragement!

Sandra McCartt said:
That's a tough gig Mark. I notice your base is around 31K plus comish. Direct marketing advertising is a tough industry to sell in right now with companies cutting every ad dollar they can cut. You are competing with big companies going after the new grads at a base of 40 to 45K plus comish and company car. It's been my experience over the past few years that XY gens have very high expectations about starting salaries and perks and easily achieved comish.

Good luck in your recruiting efforts.

I think they put those of us who are in the 50 and over crowd next to the toilet on airplanes because we disrupt the other passengers with all the trips we take to the head.
Hey now! I resent that. I am 27 years old and I know that Kent State is a campus of sorts and Woodstock is the little cartoon birdie from Charlie Brown. Thank you very much.

Sandra McCartt said:
Now you remind me of my ex. He snuck so many of those little bottles he ended up in rehab.

You might consider a recruiting contract for your franchisees with some recruiters who get the younger group that were not picked up on campus. Or the junior college level in local areas. I notice you have openings in almost all major cities in the US. Normally means your franchisees have a high turnover rate. There are some good recruiters here who are capable of contracting with you nationally to not only find the kind of candidate you need, not only to complete the hire but to work with your franchisees to build retention programs.

The gen x/y don't think direct market mailers advertising sales is sexy enough for them for very long so you could be going after a crowd that will use you to get a sales job on the resume then jump ship . Those 20 year experience guys may start to look pretty good. You really are in a catch 22. Franchisees struggling so can't afford top sales reps when they need them the most.

Consider a recruiting contract with Recruiting Animal he could solve your problem and you never have talk about Kent State or Woodstock to abunch of kids who never heard of either. :)
Seems as if a large part of this discussion has been sponsored by Depends and Ensure shakes - I'd even suggest Viagra but since some want the FCC to ban these harassing horn-dog harangues I won't bring it up. I have no idea why Jenn has jumped in on this discussion unless her company's numbers of older workers in the organization has raised the eyebrows of the local crack EEO unit and she wants to see how members of a protected class think.

Catering to Gen X/Y/Z-it's-easy-as-1-2-3 is admitting that their baby boomer parents (uh, that would be us) failed miserably as child rearing. We told them we ducked bullets at Kent State...
....and they made faces; Marky-Mark (it's what he should be calling himself - instead of Mark holder of an AARP card - because it's cooler) appeases the Gen Why-Shouldn't-I-Have-What-I-Want masses and receives comments such as Glad to hear someone who is (almost) on our side and can see things the way that we see them.

Waaaaaaaah you freaking whine babies, it's no wonder you're so sullen and lost - your parents screwed up! They didn't do their jobs! Don't blame an entire generation's malcontent on you parent's failure to explain things in detail; mine did. Bet some of you are still waiting for the birds and bees talk from Mummy and Daddy.

Yes, we had the race riots - thank us for doing the dirty work. We went to Woodstock; you listened to our old vinyl and decided that a new Woodstock was cool so you attended, made fake mud bathes, showed the world a generation of thongs and tramp stamps, and screwed each other in $300 North Face tents. Hey, I even have my tattoos but I don't get bent out of shape when someone makes a comment about them (but no tramp stamps on the small of my back); I recognize that work is comprised of many ages, value, and beliefs and like it or not, not everyone agrees with me.

The real issue here is recruiting's failure to teach - career services departments still rely on crappy out-of-touch books, hiring manager still rely on "recruiting knowledge" that is outdated and biased, and human resources has not, on a whole, done even an adequate job of leading recruiting.

Heather, you mean to tell me you have two ten year olds at home??? roflmao
I wonder who paid for those $300 tents.
Steve,

I like Marky Mark. He did just fine. I admit that I am out of touch with some of this stuff. Saw Neil Young at the St. Pete Times about 4 years ago. I only knew 2 Neil Young songs, and one was the "4 dead in Ohio". He forgot to sing it. (Forgot the song he sang that I knew)

It is so easy for me to say that "I didn't screw up as a parent" as my baby turn 32 this year. So, NO GEN Y's FOR ME!

What I like what you said, Steve, is the harsh reality of harsh reality. As Boomers we understand this is a way of life. No biggie. Here is your next challenge. So what. We don't freakin' care - we'll handle it!








Steve Levy said:
Seems as if a large part of this discussion has been sponsored by Depends and Ensure shakes - I'd even suggest Viagra but since some want the FCC to ban these harassing horn-dog harangues I won't bring it up. I have no idea why Jenn has jumped in on this discussion unless her company's numbers of older workers in the organization has raised the eyebrows of the local crack EEO unit and she wants to see how members of a protected class think.

Catering to Gen X/Y/Z-it's-easy-as-1-2-3 is admitting that their baby boomer parents (uh, that would be us) failed miserably as child rearing. We told them we ducked bullets at Kent State...
....and they made faces; Marky-Mark (it's what he should be calling himself - instead of Mark holder of an AARP card - because it's cooler) appeases the Gen Why-Shouldn't-I-Have-What-I-Want masses and receives comments such as Glad to hear someone who is (almost) on our side and can see things the way that we see them.

Waaaaaaaah you freaking whine babies, it's no wonder you're so sullen and lost - your parents screwed up! They didn't do their jobs! Don't blame an entire generation's malcontent on you parent's failure to explain things in detail; mine did. Bet some of you are still waiting for the birds and bees talk from Mummy and Daddy.

Yes, we had the race riots - thank us for doing the dirty work. We went to Woodstock; you listened to our old vinyl and decided that a new Woodstock was cool so you attended, made fake mud bathes, showed the world a generation of thongs and tramp stamps, and screwed each other in $300 North Face tents. Hey, I even have my tattoos but I don't get bent out of shape when someone makes a comment about them (but no tramp stamps on the small of my back); I recognize that work is comprised of many ages, value, and beliefs and like it or not, not everyone agrees with me.

The real issue here is recruiting's failure to teach - career services departments still rely on crappy out-of-touch books, hiring manager still rely on "recruiting knowledge" that is outdated and biased, and human resources has not, on a whole, done even an adequate job of leading recruiting.

Heather, you mean to tell me you have two ten year olds at home??? roflmao
But is there a pic of you in your Calvin's?

Neil forgot lots of things - I wonder why?

You started early; quite a few didn't; guess they're to blame.

It's not that we don't freakin' care, it's that we've had so much hit us - from the Cuban missile crisis to the Civil Rights movement to Vietnam to Watergate to no-more-Red-devil to Iraq to BJs in the Whitehouse to 9/11 to Iraq - and we did it with without Twitter or Facebook...

omg

Mark Liston said:
Steve,

I like Marky Mark. He did just fine. I admit that I am out of touch with some of this stuff. Saw Neil Young at the St. Pete Times about 4 years ago. I only knew 2 Neil Young songs, and one was the "4 dead in Ohio". He forgot to sing it. (Forgot the song he sang that I knew)

It is so easy for me to say that "I didn't screw up as a parent" as my baby turn 32 this year. So, NO GEN Y's FOR ME!

What I like what you said, Steve, is the harsh reality of harsh reality. As Boomers we understand this is a way of life. No biggie. Here is your next challenge. So what. We don't freakin' care - we'll handle it!
FYI...I replied because I didn't have anything better to do and this was the most interesting discussion on the board. I was also amused at the idea of the battle I knew would ensue. Also, what Sandra said.

Actually, I am interested in this conversation because it involves me as much as it involves the "Depends" crowd. I am of the Gen Y generation. Yes, our parents (YOUR generation) made some boo-boos (and STILL won't admit it) and like every generation, we try to learn from the generations that came before us. Yes, a lot of us inherited a sense of entitlement but it's a learned behavior. I understand the Kent State and Woodstock references and didn't go to the Woodstock of the last decade because I don't like live music and no one has ever bought me a $300 tent and I couldn't afford to take off of work/school for 3 days to go do drugs in the dirt even if I wanted to. Marky Mark sucks--period.

Thanks for doing the dirty work. Racism still exists. Don't believe me? Ask my 20-year-old half brother who is half white and half black and who gets pulled out of the car and searched everytime he gets pulled over, even when it's just for a tag light being out or because he "looked suspicious" (i.e. looks like a 20 year old black male) to the police officer.

The Beatles are still amazing. "Maybe I'm Amazed" is the ringtone on my phone for my boyfriend. Vinyl is still the best sound quality according to any sound technician out there.

Yes I wanted $40k/yr out the gate from college but got $28k and it's been a long, tiresome, uphill battle for survival. Especially considering I've been laid-off twice in the past five years (once due to company relo, once due to $$$) and am now looking down the barrel of a lay-off gun again only 5 years into my career. Sales is an ugly game.

MY point is every generation has their faults and triumphs. My generation has a lot left to prove. If we're smart we'll listen to what you all have to say and take it with a grain of salt and also realize that if you want to be good, you have to dig deeper than the info in the crappy, out-of-date textbooks supplied by HR. We'll also learn to leave blame behind because it just doesn't help anyone. Hopefully the Boomer generation will give us the respect of not really thinking we think that we're soooo much better and smarter and at the same time dumber than you that we need you to be self-deprecating to learn any lessons and if anyone bites the bait--best of luck. Life has a way of thinning out the heard anyway.
Faburous insight.

Sales is an ugly game - but it is the best game. It rewards for those who can - and punishes the crap of those who can't / won't / shouldn't, etc. Wish it is easier. Kind of like being professional athlete.

Great folks in this arena have already played this game and know how to win. Learn from them. Their books . . their blogs . . their insights . . . their passion teach all of us who want to/will achieve.





See_Jane_Recruit said:
FYI...I replied because I didn't have anything better to do and this was the most interesting discussion on the board. I was also amused at the idea of the battle I knew would ensue. Also, what Sandra said.

Actually, I am interested in this conversation because it involves me as much as it involves the "Depends" crowd. I am of the Gen Y generation. Yes, our parents (YOUR generation) made some boo-boos (and STILL won't admit it) and like every generation, we try to learn from the generations that came before us. Yes, a lot of us inherited a sense of entitlement but it's a learned behavior. I understand the Kent State and Woodstock references and didn't go to the Woodstock of the last decade because I don't like live music and no one has ever bought me a $300 tent and I couldn't afford to take off of work/school for 3 days to go do drugs in the dirt even if I wanted to. Marky Mark sucks--period.

Thanks for doing the dirty work. Racism still exists. Don't believe me? Ask my 20-year-old half brother who is half white and half black and who gets pulled out of the car and searched everytime he gets pulled over, even when it's just for a tag light being out or because he "looked suspicious" (i.e. looks like a 20 year old black male) to the police officer.

The Beatles are still amazing. "Maybe I'm Amazed" is the ringtone on my phone for my boyfriend. Vinyl is still the best sound quality according to any sound technician out there.

Yes I wanted $40k/yr out the gate from college but got $28k and it's been a long, tiresome, uphill battle for survival. Especially considering I've been laid-off twice in the past five years (once due to company relo, once due to $$$) and am now looking down the barrel of a lay-off gun again only 5 years into my career. Sales is an ugly game.

MY point is every generation has their faults and triumphs. My generation has a lot left to prove. If we're smart we'll listen to what you all have to say and take it with a grain of salt and also realize that if you want to be good, you have to dig deeper than the info in the crappy, out-of-date textbooks supplied by HR. We'll also learn to leave blame behind because it just doesn't help anyone.
Thanks Sandra. I just had to comment on the comment you made about how my generation was taught that all we had to do was get a good education and the world would be our oyster. Boy did I learn what a load of crap that is in the toughest way possible. My father started prepping me for college when I was the ripe age of 10. Yes 10. I clearly remember him telling me I had to get good grades in school then so I could get into a good college and from their grab a great career and be on my way to a bright future! So that's what I did. I was in honors and advanced placement classes through high school. I got into a good college, double majored in English Literature and English Writing, graduated with a high GPA, even studies Shakespeare and Seventeenth Century Literature at Oxford University through a study abroad program. I thought I did everything right. Then I got out into the real world.

The real world is a savage beast. I remember applying and interviewing for jobs. To my surprise, less than half of the companies I replied to called me back about a job. The interviews I did have mostly resulted in a: "Thank you for your application. Unfortunately at this time we do not feel you have the experience required for this position. Go suck an egg." That's for those companies that ever even bothered to send me a rejection letter. All I wanted was a job copy editing for a newspaper. I double majored in English! I studied at Oxford! What the hell was happening? The ever haunting post-graduate Catch-22 of requiring experience that you'll never get until someone gives you a chance and hires you for a job was kicking the life out of me. I eventually took a low paying Project Management role (actually started as a personal assistant to the owner of a small sign and lighting maintenance company--went through all that education to NOT become someone's secretary and there I was, filing, copying, and doing data entry) where the management preyed on young women with little education or options and had them working their fingers to the bone for $13/hr. Hell, I could have saved myself the $25k in student loan debt and gotten that job. It was a whirlwind from there. I did everything I could to pull myself up by the boot straps. I made some bad career decisions, then some stupid life decisions and here I am 5 years later trying like hell to make a career for myself.

Luckily for me, I receive fantastic advice and support from my grandmother. She's in her seventies now. She left her abusive, alcoholic husband when my dad was only 8 and worked a full-time job and kicked her own arse to provide for herself and her son. Grandma Val had the support of her late mother, my Nanny, who pulled herself up by her bootsraps when her husband tragically died while she still had young children and she went on to be a cook in some of Philadelphia's premiere restaraunts. I am proud of my legacy and grateful for the lessons of the generations before me. I have been lucky to have those two strong women in my life. I spent many wonderful weekends in their beautiful home in a quiet suburban neighborhood. They taught me how to garden, how to cook, how to appreciate what you have, how to save money, how to treat people with respect, and how to work hard and be the best person you can be. I learned that life is what you make of it.

I could feel sorry for myself and my generation for the hardships we have to endure but I don't. Upon close inspection I've come to realize that everyone throughout time has to fight battles and so will I. I'll win some, I'll lose some. I'll probably lose more than I'll win. However, at the end of the day, no matter what my social status is, no matter where I am in my career, I am happy with myself because I know the true value of life. I can seed a garden, I can make a beautiful Sunday dinner, I listen to my son and enjoy my time with him, I got to study at Oxford, I know some poetry by heart, I appreciate what I have, and I never give up.

So you see, in life, throughout the generations, there are sniveling brats with a sense of self-entitlement and there are those who want nothing more than to make their way themselves, who don't expect handouts and just want a chance. Somehow very few people saw that desire in me or maybe just didn't care. Interviews are not the best forum to really understand what a person is made of. In any case, the world keeps spinning. There will always be companies looking to exploit people like me who are looking for an opportunity but those companies won't go far. Their turn-over is high, their training is crap, they have outdated systems of metrics, and they don't really care about anyone's career. They just want someone to make them money now. Kind of like how banks and credit companies used to hand out sub-prime loans like Halloween candy. They looked great on paper 10 years ago. Now look where they are...
Sandra McCartt said:
Thanks Jen,
Good thoughts, i thought your response about Woodstock was funny and you were being your cute , kick ass self. So was not being patronizing. A tongue in cheek response if you will.

I know you are working your tail off and fighting something that you can't do anything about at this point because you are in this game at the worst possible time any young recruiter could ever try and break into it.

We so tend to lump everyone in the basket of generational identification. I do know a lot of GenXY who have come to the party as you have. Just as we did when we were young and thought we could change the world. I don't think we have to be self-deprecating because i think that is also self serving to play that game in order to convince your generation to take a job that none of our own generation would take.

I was your age when the original Woodstock took place in 1969. According to my calcs Mark would have been in about the 8th grade of maybe the 9th so he probably didn't make it to Woodstock. I wasn't going to go do drugs in the dirt then either because i thought it was trashy then and i think it's trashy now. And like yourself, i had kids to take care of , school and a job. It's always easy to blame parents and we deserve some of that just as ours did for convincing us that it was failure if we did something horrible like get a divorce for any reason or not stay on a job for 25 years until we got the gold watch. We were however perhaps a little more equipped to handle failure because anything that happened to us was our fault no matter what it was. As a result of that attitude of "anything that happens to you that's bad is your fault". We reversed it and wanted our kids to grow up without the feeling that everything was their fault and the pendulum went too far the other direction. Then we dumped you out on the street with no survival skills because we tried to make life easier for you. Now we bitch because of the sense of entitlement and the shock of reality has thrown your generation into a tailspin. They are scared and pissed off and don't understand why all the stuff they were told is not working.
We convinced you that all you had to do was get an education and the world would be your oyster. We forgot to give you the chance to fall down and get up by yourself when it was the little things, now we expect you to jump out there and be worldly wise, self reliant and as savvy as those of us with battle scars.

That's why we need to be supportive and informative not self deprecating and manipulative to get you into situations where we set you up for failure then blame you for reacting to the message that we sent you . Your generation is taking it on the chin when it really counts. And you are correct ,entitlement is a learned behavior. Some of the most "i am entitled "people i work with are baby boomers who were nasty hippies then, are aging whining hippies now. They dropped out, turned on, protested and are still doing it. Their drug of choice was booze and it still is. Those little bottles on airplanes ya know........
Tied to my current location. My boyfriend and I just signed a lease for 13 months. He has 9 years seniority in his union and loves what he does. Not to mention most of my family is in the area, including my aging Grandmother who I owe my life too.

Sandra McCartt said:
Jen,
Can you relocate or are you tied to your current location?

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